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Making of the Form Part 3 of 4 – The Stand
You can find everything you need for the stand at your local hardware supply store. I went to Home Depot and the total cost of the stand was $22.



  • 2 inches of wide Velcro
  • Cardboard a little larger than size of the form base
  • Masking tape
  • 1 - 1 inch by 10 feet PVC pipe
    Cut into sections: 4 - 4 inch | 1 – 2 1/3 feet | 4 – 8 inch

Attach all the parts together as shown in the image. Use PVC cement to secure them together. Let it dry.

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Cut down the arm hole pipes to fit just to the end of the shoulder tip. Inset the PVC tube into the form and insert the arms, making it look like a hanger. Do not cement the arms. Using a hot glue gun, attached Velcro to the shoulder tip and PVC tip where they meet. This will help to keep the form from sliding around on the pipe.

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Trace the pipe on the cardboad and cut a hole [1 inch diameter]. Use masking tape to secure the edges of the cardboard so that when the form pivots, the edges do not fray and get destroyed.

Insert the tube with the form and trace around the cardboard, positioning the form so that it is perfectly vertical. [The hole might not be the center of the base, depending on how you stood when the cast was made--you might have to pivot it one way or another.]

Cut out the traced lines, place the cardboard back onto the form and secure it with masking tape all around.


The stand is complete. While not the prettiest, it is as functional and versatile as a professional form stand.

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Making the cover for the form coming soon....

Update - 07.16.11...Velcro alone did not do a good enough job of holding the form securely onto the stand. Everytime I went to lift the form by the waist, the the weight of the form was causing the velcro to separate. To rememedy this I predrilled 2 holes through the form and the PVC pipe then secured it with dry walls screws.

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Making of a Dress Form Part 1 of 4 - Cast Yourself

I've always wanted a custom made dress form, but one can run upwards of $800, and the cheapies sold at a local craft store are just unusable. Also, custom made is really not an exact replica of you, just measurements and generalizations of your body. But what could be better then draping over a form that's an exact copy of you!





  • Bulk Plaster Gauze 4in x 135 feet [at least]
  • Plastic Tub
  • Small amount of water
  • Sharp Scissors [other sites will say you need bandage scissors, really good ones are pricey, and cheap ones at a local drug store will fall apart, halfway through]
  • Plastic drop cloth
  • Plastic wrap [from local supermarket]
  • Plastering assistant [human you are comfortable with]
  • Portable heater
  • Rubber bands
  • Permanent marker

Let the mummification begin...


Cut plaster roll into strips. It took about 80 - 4 x 14 and 20 - 4 x 8 inch strips to wrap me in 3 layers of plaster. I am size 2, so calculate according to your size. [Have it ready, you don't want your plastering assistant to stop and have to cut more.]


Wear a tight tee shirt. The kind that fits you in every spot, and one you don't mind parting with--it won't be so pretty after you are done with it. Also wear short tights, or regular underwear.


Stand straight. [My natural posture is to stand like a gymnast, that will not work for a good dress form. Straight as in your back straight against the wall. You didn't just do a dismount ;)].

Wrap plastic wrap from the hips [below the bum or however low you want it to go] to right under the chest. Do not wrap your chest. Why? It will flatten it and look unnatural [or like a 13 year old boy...hehehe].


Wet one strip at a time and start wrapping from the bottom up. You will need to do 3 layers. Horizontal, vertical and another horizontal. Start every new layer from the bottom. [Do not wiggle. As a matter of fact don't breathe].


The plaster will start to become colder as it dries. You will start to feel confined and very uncomfortable. Your natural reaction will be to do only 2 layers so this goes faster, but that won't be enough [the cast will fall apart in places when you try to cut it off].


The cast should feel dry to the touch. The portable heater will help speed drying and will keep you warm at the same time.


When all that's done, mark at the sides of the cast [some say to cut at the chest and back, I don't think those are good places]. Try to find the center of the mass and cut the cast in half at the sides. [While the cast dries, it attaches itself to your shirt. So your shirt will get holes when the form is cut away].


Once the cast if off you, gently put it back together, wrap it with plastic wrap around the waist, use a rubber band around the neck and arms, stand it [do not lay] and let it dry for 24 hours.


time....We had to do two casts. The first one didn't come out as planned. Posture and chest came out deformed. It really looked nothing like me. It also took about 3.5 hours from start to finish. And my back was killing me since I stood like a gymnast the entire time. For the second cast, we knew what went wrong and corrected all the issues. It also took "only" 1 hr 20 min to wrap and another hour for drying.


tips...Several smaller cut strips work better around the armhole and neck. Try to cast on a non-damp day, as the plaster will dry faster.


options....with or without arms. Without is true to a real form. An arm can be made separately.


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Create a 1/2-3/4 inch lip at the edge.

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Let it dry [preferably in the sun]. This could take up to 2 weeks to completely heal!!! [You will know it’s dry when it’s rock solid]

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Next...Papier-mâché mixture

  • Water
  • All purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Newspaper strips
  • Paint brush
  • Container to mix

Make an even water-to-flour mixture. 1 cup of water to 1 cup of flour, 1 tablespoon of salt. [in the end I used about 8 cups of flour/water.]

After the form is completely dry, line it with two layers of papier-mâché by brushing on the flour mixture, layering it with newspaper, then another layer of flour. One layer horizontally, one vertically. [This might seem excessive, but you want to make sure your form doesn’t fall apart after it’s taken it out of the cast] Let it dry.

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Carefully take the completely dry form out of the cast. Join the mâché halves with white glue spread thickly along the widened edges, and tie them together firmly. Slide shims under the cords to tighten them as the glue dries. You might have to apply some pressure, as the half might not come together as well as expected. You can carefully force them together as close as possible without breaking them.

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While the glue is somewhat dry, layer the inside seams of the form with more papier-mâché. This will secure the seams, and you won't need to reapply any glue.
Once the glue and interior mâché dries, take the cord and shims off.

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Use some sandpaper to even out the edges and imperfections [in case you moved around white casting yourself]. Smooth the surface texture by spreading more mâché over the cracks, side seams and shoulders and build up any area that’s uneven.

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Cut out 3 circles: 1 for a neck opening, 2 for arm holes [they might all be different, so measure each separately].
Place the neck circle on the opening and mâché over it. Leave the arm holes open. We will put them together after the stand is ready. That’s coming soon...

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Ideas...You could also try filling your cast with Urethane Liquid Foam. It is not any more expensive than buying two buckets of wallpaper paste alone. But, you have only 45 seconds to pour it, and I imagine the cast is ruined after it's been used, so I am not sure I would go with it. But I'd love to hear if anyone does try it.

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Making of the Dress Form Part 4 of 4 - Cover

  • 2 yards [roughly, depending on the size of the form] of jersey knit fabric [skin color is best]
  • Stapler
  • Needle and thread
There are many ways you can make a cover for the form. Some people drape over and create a multi-piece princess seamed cover. I feel this method is more time consuming and may not be as accurate, since [as I did] you may have shifted during the casting process and and your right side and left side might not be exactly the same. If this happened you will have to drape left and right separately. So I feel like stretchy jersey knit fabric is best for the job.


Draw side seam lines on the raw form. Drape the fabric over your form like you are covering it. Pin it just enough so it stays put while you turn the form over. Pull the fabric tightly and staple it to the base of the form. Turn the form back over and start with the front. Staple the sides to the form, right before the side seam line [the staples are just to keep things tight, they will be taken out when it's all done]. Make sure you have everything nice and tight, including neck and bust, on both sides [make sure the fabric is not loose over them, you want this to be a second skin]. Cut the fabric as close as possible to the side seam lines. Repeat for the back. Use thread and needle to sew the two sides together [contrasting color is easier to see]. Take the staples out [be careful not the rip your fabric].


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Next work on the shoulder seams, making everything nice and tight just like the side seams. Sew together the arm holes. And finally make the base of the form tighter. That may mean you have to sew the excess fabric together.


To make things pretty and useful, I covered the arm holes with contrasting fabric and made a pin cushion for the neck [very helpful when draping].


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Next are the center and princess seam lines. Mark the center of the bust with a pin. Measure the front of the form [from side seam to seam to seam], divide and mark with chalk. Straight stitch along the marked line. Do both front and back. Then divide the front half in half again and mark the princess seam. Repeat for the back. Mark at your natural waist and straight stitch over it. Do the same for the hip line.


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And it's DONE!


Comments...since I've had the form, draping and pattern making has become such a breeze [speed and convenience]. There are really so few corrections that need to be made to fit me perfectly. The time and effort spent making all this was well worth it.



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http://jellypins.blogspot.com/2013/08/using-elements-of-art-to-create.html Using the Elements of Art to Create Balanced Show Displays

In art, there are basic elements to every work and the way that these elements are used can have great impact on the visual appeal of the piece. As follows, I will discuss the elements and their application to a craft show (or store) display. As always, some rules are made to be broken and these are no exception. If you feel your product or display would benefit from going outside the lines, by all means do so. The best way to find your ideal display is to experiment and find out what works and feels right for you!


(the elements of art can be found here on Wikipedia if you'd like to learn more about them)




Texture - The best way to use and highlight texture is to include a few different types to break it up. Typical craft show displays do so by their nature, as the tablecloth, display fixtures, and items often have different textures.


To bring out the texture of the items you're displaying, place them against contrasting textures. Some examples include fabric items against either a smooth surface or a fabric with a heavier texture, smooth & sleek jewelry against a richer textured surface, highly textured jewelry against a fine, smooth surface.


To reduce busy-ness, select a limited number of different textures, say 3 or 4, and use them consistently throughout your display. If your display already feels very smooth and lacking in texture, adding some in can add more depth and even encourage people to reach out and feel both the display and the items for sale.


Space - There are two kinds of space: positive and negative. Positive space in a display would be the items displayed as well as tags, signs, containers and fixtures. Negative space is the area between items on display, areas where the tablecloth or background is visible, and space between the position of containers and fixtures on the table surface or wall.


The ratio of positive to negative space can be a personal preference, for a display that has an overall feeling of fullness without busy-ness, I personally prefer a ratio of between 50:50 and 70:30 (positive:negative). This means that only half to two-thirds of the visual space is filled with content. This will allow visitors to your booth an area for their eyes to rest in between the lovely items displayed.


Shape - In a display, shape factors in on the overall theme of the space. Displays can have very broad, flat shape to thin & wiry shape, or round & dimensional to flat. But, to keep a display coherent and cut down on visual clutter, the shapes of the displays should relate to each other. Two wire displays look more consistent than a wire display with a pegboard display. Shallow round glass bowls mixed with tall metal buckets will add visual clutter.


Color - The number one place that visual clutter comes from (other than too many objects) is too many colors. Pick a palette of 2-3 colors that suits your work and your overall brand image, and stick with it. A great scheme is to use neutral colors as a basis that are very complimentary to one another, and then have one or two bold colors as accents. Accent colors are best used in small bursts, but make sure the color occurs often enough throughout the display that it doesn't look out of place.


In my own displays, I utilize black, white and grey as the basis of my display, then I accent it with a bright teal. This scheme matches my business cards and logos, and colorful jewelry pops when it is against clean, neutral colors.


A blind spot that can occur with color is the open areas of your display. If at all possible, design your booth to have a backdrop, be against a wall, or use displays that are not see-through. This way the table, people or scenery behind you will not interact with your display by adding colors that distract.


Tone/Value - This refers to the difference between areas that are light and areas that are dark, and how great the difference between them is. You can utilize the difference in value to highlight your products and make them visually jump off the displays. Placing dark or brightly colored items against a light or pale color, or placing light or metallic items against a darker color will help them to stand out.


You will also want to pay attention to value when it comes to each component of your display. The tablecloth, containers and fixtures should have a very consistent value so that they blend well together and to not try to pop against each other, drawing visual attention away from the items you are displaying.


Line - The lines that you create within your display by placement can lead your customer's eye on a journey. By using regular height of displays, or a deliberately uneven height, you can control the flow.


A great example of this is having your taller displays even across the top or tallest in the middle, and lower displays lowest in the center rising as they approach either edge of the space. This creates a visual "loop", where the eye will typically fall somewhere in the middle and then follow the line around and be drawn into the upper and lower parts of the display.


If there is too much of a gap in the height of display items, it can feel unnatural or even draw your customer's eye over to the display next to you. Having items elevated with height on one side and not on the other can make your display a roller-coaster for the eye, so that it slides downward, out of your booth and into the next. By creating symmetry or a loop, you get the eye to naturally flow back into the space from the edges, which can help to draw people in.




Using these concepts together to bring consistency and movement to your display can help encourage people to spend more time and really explore what you have to offer.


Once you have brought together an idea for a display that is consistent, minimal and cohesive, try adding in some variety in color or shape. For example, if you have display pieces which are all the same size, shape, color and texture, it could feel very zen, or you may find it boring. Try mixing up one of the characteristics, so that they are the same in three elements but different in one. You could try all glass bowls that are white and have different shapes, or fabric bins that are each a different color but all the same size & shape, color coordinated to the items that are in them.

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How to: Make your own necklace stand
Posted on June 27, 2010by Claire


I realised the other day that signing up for craft fairs and such was all well and good… but how exactly was I going to display my items should I get accepted for one?

As usual my husband listed my budget for display equipment as “as little as possible” so I decided to have a go at making my own from materials I already had in the house or materials I could obtain for free. I spent hours browsing google images for inspiration on unique and interesting display ideas and I will be investigating quite a few more over the next few weeks. However most of those require at least some spending and/or trips to other locations so for the moment I just have one basic idea to share:


1. Start by cutting out the basic shapes from corrugated cardboard – 2 circles, one sort of egg shape and 2 strips. The sizes are entirely up to you and they don’t need to be very accurate.



2. Glue the pieces together (ordinary PVA glue is fine) so they form the correct shape. You can use just one strip to hold the top to the base but using 2 makes it easier to get the angle right.


3. Papier Mache over the entire shape, taking care to keep the definition between the central circle on top and the rest of the top. You can use wallpaper paste or flour and water glue for the mache but I prefer PVA glue heavily diluted with water. At this stage ordinary newspaper is fine.



4. There are several options for the final stage depending on the finish you prefer. I quite like the rustic look and it is difficult to escape it with papier mache anyway so I chose to coat the stand in further layers of white tissue paper and leave it at that. If your jewelry is bold you may prefer to leave it with the newspaper for a more unusual finish. If you prefer a colourful stand you can always paint it or use coloured paper instead. Note that the paper must be thin to allow it to fit the contours smoothly and also so you don’t get thick bumps where it overlaps.

I fitted a piece of raised wire into the top of my stand to allow me to hook earrings over it as well, to better display matching sets. I also fitted a hook into the back so necklaces longer than the stand can be gathered behind the stand. The only issue I have with this stand is that it is very lightweight meaning it is quite easy to knock over. This could easily be fixed by putting something heavy inside the upright portion before macheing over it.



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